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Prosecco is coming after champagne's place as the king of sparkling drinks

Photo: Shutterstock.

Move over champagne: there’s a new kid on the block in Australia’s sparkling wine market.

Ask anyone in the alcohol industry and they will tell you that there is a growing cult-like following behind Prosecco, with local sales of the Italian sparkling going bananas.

“Everyone at the moment is talking about the rise of Prosecco,” says Vinomofo co-founder Justin Dry.

“They’re super fun, sexy, sparkling, [and] the price point is much lower than champagne.”

Dry, who has been crunching the data and ploughing through market research ahead of an overseas expansion, told Business Insider Prosecco is “really challenging champagne”.

He noticed the consumption of the drink take off in the last five years or so.

“The market share is going crazy, it’s growing so fast,” he said.

Daniel Bone, the channel insights manager of retail at IRi, a market research company, says Prosecco is “a shining light in an overall wine market that is only showing marginal growth”.

“While we’re also seeing double-digit growth for traditional Champagne, dollars and litres growth for Prosecco have been tracking at around 45% for the past two years at a time when other sparkling varietals are recording notable declines,” he said, referencing varieties such as moscato and zibibo.

According Bone, a strong “cultural momentum” is partly responsible for the increased consumption of Prosecco in Australia.

“Prosecco is also trending in other advanced liquor markets like the UK and US,” he said.

But more specifically, he says it has proven to be suitable choice for casual drinkers looking for a lighter option.

“Such drinking moments and motivations also underpin the comparatively strong growth of cider and easy drinking pale ales in Australia,” he said.

“Accessibility also relates to price: the average price/litre ($18.8) and price/unit ($13.3), both of which have trending slightly down for the past two years, making it genuinely affordable indulgence that is not necessarily confined to celebratory occasions like Champagne.”

If you pair this information with the decline in alcohol consumption among younger Australians, Prosecco could be in for a good run — at least Bone thinks so.

“Going forward, I think it is likely that we will see more demand for premium Prosecco,” he says.

“But for now it’s definitely hitting the sweet spot with Aussie drinkers in terms of the all-important quality-to-value ratio.”

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